In TN, iPhone 11 is the Apple of everybody’s eye

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on July 30, 2020

“Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan” - this quote popularised by former US President John F Kennedy seems relevant today in Tamil Nadu as Apple’s iPhone 11, which was assembled in India at Foxconn’s facility in Sriperumbudur, hit the market. Major political parties — the BJP at the Centre and both the AIADMK and the DMK at the State — are taking credit for making this possible.

Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami, tweeted on Wednesday, “Apple iPhones manufactured at Sriperumbudur plant are available in the market. Our continuous efforts in bringing investment to Tamil Nadu and creating job opportunities is yielding positive results. We are committed to improve our economy further by inviting more companies to invest in Tamil Nadu.”

‘A humble beginning’

Last Friday, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, tweeted, “2020 - iPhone 11; 2019 - iPhone 7 and XR; 2018 - iPhone 6S; 2017 - iPhone SE. This chronology is a statement in itself as to how the Narendra Modi government has developed the mobile phone manufacturing ecosystem in India. It’s only a humble beginning.”

Former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran of the DMK jumped into the fray. He expressed happiness on Apple’s top-end model iPhone 11 being manufactured in Tamil Nadu. “Happy to see Apple manufacturing its top of the line iPhone11 in Sriperumbudur at the Foxconn plant launched in 2006 by CM Kalaignar during my tenure as Union Minister for Communication and IT. The seeds of growth and development we sowed then continue to help India grow even today,” he tweeted. The Foxconn plant was inaugurated by late Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi in 2006.

Competitive credit taking is not new in Tamil Nadu. In fact, both AIADMK and DMK have taken credit for the same project. In 1996, AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa had, as chief minister, brought in Ford and Hyundai into Tamil Nadu. But the manufacturing facilities were inaugurated by the DMK government that came to power later. The two parties had no qualms in claiming that the project was their success.

Benefit of the State

It is amusing the companies remained neutral about this competition between the two major parties as long as both of them were industry-friendly - which both the parties are and have ensured that the State had an investor-friendly climate. It is due to the shared interests of both the arch-rival parties to industrially develop Tamil Nadu that the State is among the top recipient of investment in India

As the State government alternated between AIADMK and DMK taking the helm, what typically followed was a transfer of power of bureaucrats and police officials. However, one department, the Investment Guidance Bureau (now re-named Guidance Tamil Nadu), did not see any change. The continuity, both the parties, agreed were critical for attracting investors into the State.

Published on July 30, 2020

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